Polestar leads electric car sales in July, as the market awaits the Tesla invasion that begins this week

Deliveries of electric vehicles in Australia almost came to a halt in July, with just over 600 electric vehicles entering customer hands a month as countless global powers kept supplies to a minimum.

Tesla only delivered four electric cars in July (yes, only four). But that’s about to change, and in a big way: Thousands of Tesla Model Ys and a long queue of Model 3 orders are set to roll out to customers by the end of this week.

Delivery of the Tesla Model 3, as well as new EVs due from Chinese automakers MG and BYD, have been delayed due to the Covid-19 shutdown and other global challenges.

What will happen once the updated Tesla Model Y, BYD Atto 3 and MG ZS EV hits our shores we’ll touch on later, but the upshot is that according to the latest numbers from Vfacts and data collected independently of the automakers by The Driven, Polestar 2 has The title of “best seller” in July.

This really goes back to when vehicles could be delivered. And it’s not without noticing that the Polestar 2 – like the Model 3, Atto 3 and ZS EV – is made in China, at Geely and Volvo’s Luqiao factory.

Geely-owned sister company Volvo delivered nearly 100 cars to customers in July, far ahead of Volvo’s 17 XC40 Pure Recharged as the Swedish brand prepares for next year’s model to enter October.

Despite the reported popularity of the award-winning Ioniq 5 truck that is hard to get and towing, Hyundai’s Kona EV and Hyundai’s Ioniq Electric boosted sales of the South Korean brand’s EV in July.

In fact, in terms of branding, Hyundai won. While Tesla – still the overall market leader – delivered just 4 cars in July, Hyundai delivered 83 Kona, 69 IONIQ fastbacks and 25 IONIQ 5s to customers – or 177.

Kia has delivered 52 of its hard-to-get EV6s, while the updated e-Niro is waiting to hit the roads in the coming months.

Porsche continues to offer reasonable amounts of its high-end electric sports car, and Mercedes-Benz reported that it sold 22 cars for both the EQA and EQC while only 8 large EQC SUVs were purchased. BMW only sold 8 for the i4 and iX.

Although there are still a few numbers to be obtained from the automakers (Vfacts does not provide separate reports on the engine ranges for the models of the same name), we can also add 3 Jaguar I-Paces and 14 Audi e-Trons to the list.

Electric car sales in the second half are about to take off

While just over 10,000 electric vehicles were delivered to customers in the first seven months of 2022 – roughly the same as in 2021 – the second half of the year will look very different.

Tesla is believed to have received about 15,000 orders for the Model Y, and not all of them will be delivered by the end of the year.

But many of them will be, along with at least 3,000 BYD Atto 3s according to the China auto giants’ communications.

MG has confirmed that its ZS EV, which was expected to debut in July, will debut this coming September.

With at least 300 ZS EV orders taken, a spokesperson for the SAIC-owned brand said in a note that “production output is improving with deliveries to customers who already ordered access in September and staggered lead times throughout the fourth quarter.”

MG also reportedly has several units not yet taken up by customers, which it says are “available for immediate delivery.”

Electric SUVs can’t come fast enough

The elephant in the room is of course the big hole in the electric SUV market. As EV researcher Jake Whitehead noted on Monday, based in the US — models like the Ford F-150 Lightning and Rivian R1T utes “will sell like hot cakes.”

Australia just needs the right policy signals, i.e. fuel emissions standards that are in line with overseas, so carmakers are putting the emerging market on par with overseas interests.

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